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Eight winter driving laws you need to know – or face up to a £10,000 fine


FROSTY conditions bring tougher roads – and the possibility of huge fines.

We looked at which rules are easiest to break at this time of year and how to make sure you steer clear of any trouble.

Motorists have to be extra careful as roads become more dangerous - and fines more likely

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Motorists have to be extra careful as roads become more dangerous – and fines more likelyCredit: Getty

Clean your windscreen or face a fine – or worse

AA spokesman Tony Rich said the easiest mistake is not cleaning your windscreen properly.

It sounds simple, but a dirty windscreen could land you with three points on your licence and a £100 fine.

Tony advised: “Clear the whole windscreen and glass before setting off.

“Use air-con (if you have it). Air-con demists the screen faster and reduces condensation.”

If it affects your driving, a dirty windscreen could even lead to a £1,000 fine for losing control of the vehicle.

And if you cause an accident, that could lead to a criminal prosecution or a fine of £10,000 for driving dangerously.

Lawyer Nick Freeman told The Mirror: “The modern motorist already faces so many challenges with congested roads, limited space and smart motorways.

“Winter simply exacerbates these facts.”

Wear proper footwear

According to rule 97 of the Highway Code, motorists must make sure they can use the controls properly.

That means ditching the winter boots.

Driving dangerously can result in a £1,000 fine.

For a clean windscreen, ignore the tricks

Tony said: “Hacks like pouring a kettle-full of water over the glass or dragging a sandwich bag of hot water across the glass are unnecessary and could cause your screen to crack.

“A scraper is all you need to let you see the road ahead.”

Failing to properly see the road ahead could also lead to dangerous driving and a £1,000 fine.

Charge your electric vehicle

Driving too quickly because you’re scared your car may run out of charge is a real risk – if you don’t take good care.

EVs can heat by remote, but their battery life can also be a problem in winter.

Driving without reasonable consideration for others has an unlimited fine at court and could carry as many as nine penalty points on your licence.

Rushing could also result in dangerous driving and a £1,000 fine.

Check your tires

If you are found with illegal tyres, you could receive a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points – for each one.

If all your tyres are deemed illegal, that would be a massive fine of £10,000 and 12 penalty points.

Make sure the tread depth is a minimum of 1.6mm on each one – or 1mm for motorbikes, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles.

Clear the roof

Drivers often forget clearing the roof when they’re doing pre-journey checks.

But it’s absolutely clear for visibility – which becomes obvious as soon as you set off.

Tony said: “It’s easy to clear your screen and then set off, but don’t forget the roof and lights, so you can see and be seen.”

Failing to do so could also put you in line for driving without consideration – an unlimited fine at court and nine penalty points.

Don’t rush

Almost all car accidents are caused by human error in one way or another.

And judgment is often impeded when drivers are in a hurry.

Tony said: “Allow extra time. 

“Avoid the risk of a morning rush by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual if frost is forming.”

That can have all sorts of risks, including leaving windscreen dirt and letting your number plate pick up dirt.

An unregistered licence plate carries a £1,000 fine, while dangerous driving in a rush could lead to a £1,000 fine for dangerous driving.

Keep both eyes on the vehicle

At the other end of the scale, being lax with the law could see your vehicle nicked.

Don’t leave it unsupervised while it warms up, Tony advises.

He said: “Don’t start the car to defrost it and go back indoors, you leave it vulnerable to being stolen.”

We’ve reported on all the checks you need to do before you set off this winter.

And the risk taken by too many Brit drivers with poor tyres.

You must also make sure you’re entirely sober behind the wheel, especially as Christmas party season hits.

Though it’s impossible to know exactly how much alcohol you can handle before driving, it’s better to have none for the road.

Is it illegal to have open alcohol in a car?

 

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